CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Starting this fall, students at 19 Calcasieu Parish schools will get to eat breakfast and lunch at school at no cost.
The Calcasieu Parish School Board recently approved to be part of the Community Eligibility Provision, a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that funds the cost.
Participating schools in Calcasieu Parish include the following: Barbe Elementary School, Brenda H. Hunter Head Start, Brentwood Elementary School, J.D. Clifton Elementary School, College Oaks Elementary School, Combre-Fondel Elementary School, Fairview Elementary School, Henry Heights Elementary School, Jake Drost School for Exceptional Children, John J. Johnson II Elementary School, M.J. Kaufman Elementary School, J.F. Kennedy Elementary School, Oak Park Elementary School, Oak Park Middle School, Pearl Watson Elementary School, R.D. Molo Middle Magnet School, R.F. Wilson Elementary School, T.H. Watkins Elementary School and Washington-Marion Magnet High School.
Schools were chosen based on their number of identifiable students, which district administrators say is a good indicator of a school's poverty level.
Racquel Malbrew says that she and her husband struggle to make ends meet, but they are not eligible for government assistance, meaning her child has never qualified for free school lunches.
"The money we were spending for his lunches monthly could've been money we were spending on groceries for our home," said Malbrew.
Although she says her family is still living paycheck to paycheck, thanks to the Community Eligibility Program, paying for her son Cameron's breakfast and lunch will no longer be an issue. Cameron will begin kindergaten this coming fall.
"Between the two jobs that I'm working and the jobs that (my husband is) working, we won't be struggling as much," Malbreaux said.
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